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Wisconsin District Conservationist Recognized for Completing Embassy Science Fellowship in Lithuania

NRCS Promotes Soil Health and Sustainable Agriculture Globally
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Karyl Fritsche, Prairie du Chien District Conservationist, completes fellowship through the Embassy Science Fellows Program in Lithuania.

MADISON, Wis., March 28, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin, recognizes Karyl Fritsche, Prairie du Chien District Conservationist, for completing a fellowship through the Embassy Science Fellows Program in Lithuania. The Embassy Science Fellows Program places USDA technical experts at American embassies overseas to provide expertise, advice and assistance with issues relating to the environment, science, technology, and health.

Karyl was assigned to the Baltic Environmental Forum, where she presented to Lithuanian government officials and private institutions on topics centered around the tools, practices, and policies of soil health improvement. During her time in Lithuania, Karyl helped submit a project grant application to the U.S. Embassy to fund a large soil health event, drafted a report comparing the Lithuanian Strategic Plan and “ecoschemes” with current U.S. policy, participated in the Good Farmer Championship Field Tour and presented on her experience and role as a conservation expert in Wisconsin.

She was also given the opportunity to take advantage of additional field work, consulting on soil health and managed grazing practices with local farmers in the surrounding communities. “I found the fellowship to be highly rewarding as it allowed me to step away from my daily programmatic tasks and reconnect with the science of conservation,” said Karyl.

Karyl made several presentations to the Lithuania Ministry of Agriculture on the initiatives in place to help mitigate the effects of climate change and how NRCS promotes sustainable agriculture through technical assistance and voluntary conservation programs. Her final presentation focused on her observations and review of the Ministry’s draft regulations, which contributed to the national debate on technical details of executing Lithuania’s agricultural policy.

“Sustainable agricultural practices have moved to the forefront of modern food production. NRCS is a leader in promoting and innovating these practices at a national level, and now with Karyl’s enthusiasm and leadership, she has taken that message halfway around the world to Lithuania. As an agency, NRCS is supportive of the efforts to educate a global community and I appreciate Karyl’s efforts to continue to spread the message of soil health,” said Joe Schmelz, Wisconsin NRCS Southwest Area Officer.

Eighteen U.S. Government science agencies take part in the Embassy Science Fellow Program, contributing almost 550 participants in the program since its inception. Since 2002, NRCS has sponsored over 28 Fellows to work in areas of strategic importance to the agency. The Embassy Science Fellows program leverages the expertise of U.S. government scientists to build relationships and partnerships that advance American foreign policy and scientific priorities, further our understanding of worldwide science trends, promote U.S. scientific norms, and advance American foreign policy interests.

For more information about the conservation programs and technical assistance available locally through NRCS, visit or contact your local NRCS Service Center.



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